Man dies after being trapped in rip current at Treasure Island Beach

- A Ft. Myers man died Friday morning after being caught in a rip current at Treasure Island Beach Thursday. 

The 48-year-old and three others were swimming in rough water, but he was held underwater too long and died Friday morning, the Treasure Island Police Department said.

Robert McCarthy, of Ft. Myers, was swimming off Treasure Island beach behind the Bilmar Hotel just after 7:00 Thursday night. McCarthy was with 43-year-old Jody Boyer, of St. Petersburg, 45-year-old Carlton Dubois, of St. Petersburg, and Carlton's sister, 47-year-old Kimberly Dubois, of Ft. Myers.

Shortly after, someone called 911 to report distressed swimmers who may be stuck in the rip tide. Treasure Island Police Department and St. Pete Beach Fire and Rescue crews spotted the swimmers when the arrived and began life-saving measures in the water and on the shore. 

Boyer, Carlton Dubois, and his sister, Kimberly were helped back to shore by first responders and some bystanders. Rescue crews say Carlton Dubois tried to render aid to the others.

McCarthy was found under water by 53-year-old Randal Fry, of St. Petersburg, who was also on the beach. Treasure Island PD said Fry paddled on a boogie board out to McCarthy and tried to bring him to shore.

A rescue swimmer from the St. Pete Beach Fire and Rescue helped Fry bring McCarthy in.

He was taken to Palms of Pasadena Hospital but had been under the water for too long. He died early Friday morning as a result.

Treasure Island PD says swimmers should be aware of their abilities and limitations, and should always know conditions before entering the water. 

Anyone caught in a rip current should not fight, but rather swim out of the current, parallel to shore. If escape is not possible, try to float or tread water while calling to shore and waving your hands for help.

Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue also responded and assisted with efforts on the shore in this incident.

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